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Big item on the ballot that will decide how to use the City of Clovis’ economic development funding

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In the upcoming Clovis election, there’s a big item on the ballot that will decide how to use the city’s economic development funding.

Recent changes in the New Mexico state law open up the use of those funds to be used to incentivize retail development.

It is important to know that this is not a tax increase, the money would come from the already existing economic development funds which are currently being used to incentivize industry development only.

“What this means for economic growth and the health of our economy is that we’re able to through analytics and through understanding exactly what’s happening with our retail offering, we would be able to target those retail stores that fall within the gaps that currently exist in our area add to that, the incentives package that we’ll put together if the voters say yes on this, would benefit existing retail businesses as well,” said Michael Morris, City of Clovis mayor.

The Clovis mayor says, this will help expand retail businesses, help support small business development, create new jobs, and attract new businesses into the city, which will in turn help grow the city’s economy.

“By having this incentive, we can incise more development in Clovis which we can then help close those service gaps in what everybody’s needing in our community for shopping small, for shopping retail and for shopping locally,” said Lisa Pellegrino-Spear, executive director of Clovis Mainstreet.

Spear says this would also help fill the many empty spaces within the Clovis mall which lost a lot businesses during the pandemic.

She also says it would help revitalize the downtown area since it costs more to develop in those historic properties.

“We have a large service gap that’s going to our larger communities, but we also serve as a hub for a lot of our small communities around Clovis and this will help close that gap and allow us to encourage new development in our community,” said Spear.

If voters vote no, nothing will be changed and the city would still be limited to industry development only.

“Because of the change in the state law, other New Mexico cities our size and larger are taking advantage of this and over in Texas, where I feel like a lot of our competition for our retail dollars is, in Texas they have the opportunity to incentivize retail development. So, if the voters say no to this, they will really be saying that no we’re just absolutely not interested in competing in the retail sector,” said Morris.

Early voting in Clovis started October 5.

Starting this Saturday there will be a second early voting location that will be held at the mall.

If you go to NMvote.org, you can find a sample ballot that will look identical to the ballot you’ll have when you go vote.

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